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EU Health Prize for Journalists

Are you a journalist interested in health?

EU Jury

Martin Seychell, chair, European Commission

Martin Seychell was appointed Deputy Director General for Health and Consumers in March 2011.

Graduated in chemistry and pharmaceutical technology, Mr. Seychell specialized in Chemical analysis. He has held important positions on several government boards and commissions in Malta, including the Food Safety Commission and the Pesticides Board. Mr Seychell occupied the post of Head of Directorate at the Malta Standards Authority between 2001 and 2006.

He has been responsible for the implementation of a number of EU directives in the areas of risk assessment, food safety, chemicals and cosmetic products legislation, and has actively participated in negotiations on major technical proposals such as the new chemicals legislation, REACH, and in screening processes in the areas of free movement of goods, environment and agriculture during the process leading to Malta's accession to the EU. He held the post of Director of Environment in Malta between 2006 and 2011. As Director, he was responsible for a broad range of functions arising from the Maltese Environment Protection Act.

Andrzej Ryś, European Commission

Andrzej Ryś joined the Commission in 2006 and is currently Director of the Health Systems and Products Directorate in DG Health and Consumers. He is a Medical Doctor specialising in radiology and public health. In 1991, he established the School of Public Health (SPH) at the Jagiellonian University and was the Director there until 1997. After which he was the Director of Krakow’s city health department from 1997 to 1999. From 1995 –1999 he was the Polish director of the “Harvard-Jagiellonian Consortium for Health” – a project focusing on local governments' role in health care.

Dr Rys served as the deputy Minister of Health in Poland from 1999 to 2002 and developed a new system of emergency medicine and a new education system for nurses. He was a member of the Polish accession negotiators team.

Other posts held by Dr Rys include Founder and Director of the Center for Innovation and Technology Transfer at Jagiellonian University, Director at Diagnostic Ltd.

Sixtine Bouygues, European Commission

Having worked for more than 10 years in the communication field for the European Commission, Sixtine Bouygues developed her expertise as Head of the Commission Representation in Paris and Head of Communication at the Directorate General for Information Society and Media.

In June 2010, she became Director (a.i.) for Communication Actions at the Directorate General Communication. She was appointed Director in July 2012.

Responsible for Strategy and Corporate Communication, Sixtine Bouygues is managing key sectors of the European Commission’s communication, such as public opinion polling (Eurobarometer), speechwriting, media monitoring, audio-visual services, Europa web portal and European media networks.

Isabel de la Mata, European Commission

Isabel de la Mata was born in Bilbao (Spain). She graduated in Medicine at the University of Basque Country in 1983 and holds post-graduate degrees from the University of Leuven and Paris VI. She is specialist in Preventive Medicine and Public Health.

She worked at the Ministry of Health of Spain and at the Regional Departments of Health in the Basque Country and in Madrid. She has an experience working with International Organisations, such as the WHO, Pan American Health Organisation and Inter-American Development Bank.

From 2004 until February 2008 she worked at the Permanent Representation of Spain to the EU.

Since 1 March 2008 she works as Principal Adviser for Public Health at Directorate SANCO – Health & Consumers.

David Barron, public health expert

David Barron has worked in the English NHS since 2003. He has held a variety of operational and strategy roles and has experience of working at the local, regional and national levels of the NHS including time in the private office of the NHS Chief Executive. David recently authored the ‘Closing the Gap’ report on the future direction of the NHS and he currently sits on the European Health Forum Gastein Advisory Board.

David is passionate about improving the English NHS. He has also worked with many international healthcare organisations across Europe and in the US on new and innovative ways to improve the quality and productivity of heatlhcare delivery.

David holds a BA in Politics and a Masters in Public Administration and Public Policy from the University of York.

Satu Lipponen, journalist

Satu Lipponen is a science journalist and special adviser of the Cancer Society of Finland. She writes mainly about health and cancer. She has worked since 2000 as managing editor of the Cancer magazine. She is editor-in-chief of the annual Cancer research magazine.

Lipponen was before that newspaper journalist over 20 years working as editor, sub-editor and editor-in-chief. She has written articles, reports and books on a broad range issues, including health, cancer, media and international affairs.

She graduated in journalism and international relations from the University of Tampere and has done postgraduate studies in foreign policy and industrial leadership. Lipponen is active in several professional networks. She is currently the president of the Finnish Association of Science Editors and Journalists (FASEJ) and she was the president of the 8th World Conference of Science Journalists in 2013.

Jochen Niehaus, journalist

Since 2006 Jochen Niehaus has worked as a medical science editor for the German weekly news magazine FOCUS, which attracts over six millions readers. In 2011 he became the founding editor-in-chief of the successful health magazines FOCUS-GESUNDHEIT and FOCUS-DIABETES.

Niehaus graduated from the prestigious Medical School at Charité – University Medicine Berlin in 1999. He then founded a online platform for reliable evidence-based medical news in Vienna.

Niehaus has written for the Austrian news magazine Profil, several major newspapers and online media. As an editor of “Medizin Medien Austria” Niehaus has worked for various medical journals, including Medical Tribune, Ärztemagazin, Clinicum etc.

Estelle Saget, journalist

Estelle Saget has been a reporter for the leading french weekly L’Express since 2002. She writes articles on health topics for the magazine and the web site In 2009, she won the first EU health prize for journalists, with an article on mental health, «Schizophrenia explained to family and friends».

Last update: 09/02/2014 | Top